Bethlehem Dairy Store and Aramark at SteelStacks Take Top Honors
With 15 restaurants, 17 delicious dishes and more than 300 guests in attendance, the 3rd annual Girl Scout Cookie Crunch was a fabulous foodie experience from start to finish. The dynamic culinary event held at the ArtsQuest Center’s Musikfest Café in Bethlehem on Feb. 26 also featured 10-year-old chef and Girl Scout Lucy Chelton of Sellersville, who celebrated her recent win on “Chopped Jr.” by signing autographs for the crowd.
Selected by popular vote, Bethlehem Dairy Store’s S’mores & Cream ice cream was named “Best Sweet Dish” and the Aramark culinary team at SteelStacks was awarded both “Best Savory Dish” and “Kids’ Choice Award” for its Bacon Macaroni and Cheese topped with Girl Scout Shortbreads (Recipe at end of article). Winners received glass cookie jars crafted by the Banana Factory Glass Studio.
The complete list of winners is:
Best Sweet Dish – Bethlehem Dairy Store, Bethlehem
Best Savory Dish – Aramark at SteelStacks, Bethlehem
Kids’ Choice Award – Aramark at SteelStacks, Bethlehem
Highlighted by largest turnout in the event’s history, this unique culinary fundraiser benefits both Girl Scouts of Eastern PA (GSEP) and the ArtsQuest Art Education Fund, which provides quality arts and education programs for area students. GSEP is the largest girl-serving organization in Pennsylvania and builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. GSEP serves close to 40,000 girls in partnership with more than 15,000 volunteers.
“This year’s Cookie Crunch was a huge success thanks to the support of all of our participating restaurants, patrons, event volunteers and especially the Girl Scouts,” says ArtsQuest President and CEO Kassie Hilgert. “This unique culinary experience continues to grow in popularity, with area chefs creating some amazing dishes using Girl Scout Cookies.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Girl Scouts on this event each year, helping to shine the spotlight on their organization, as well as our Art Education Fund, which helps to support our free educational programming for the region. Congratulations to all of the Cookie Crunch winners – we’re already looking forward to the 2018 Cookie Crunch next February.”
Ken Anderson, Vice President of Business Development for Girl Scouts of Eastern PA, says, “Thank you to all of this year’s participants for their creativity and delicious dishes and to Lucy Chelton, who is simply amazing and truly exemplifies what Girl Scouts is all about–building girls of courage, confidence and character. This year was the best and I look forward to the next!
Bacon Mac n Cheese with Shortbread Cookies
ArtsQuest Center Executive Chef Michael Hoffman
Pasta cooking ingredients
1 pound Cavatapi Pasta
1 gal water, boiling
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Salted Butter
1 large Shallot minced
½ Sweet onion minced
¼ cup minced garlic
1 pound bacon lard-ons, bacon cut into small pieces (match stick width)
On medium high heat, melt butter and sweat the onions, garlic and shallots, add bacon. By the time the bacon is done the onions and garlic mix should be caramelized. Turn the heat down to a low medium.
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Qt Heavy Cream
1 lb Smoked Gouda Cheese (hand shredded)
1 lb White American Cheese (tear into quarters while adding to cream)
Add Cream to the above onion mix. Once the cream is starting to come to a roll (do not allow the cream to boil over) start adding small amounts of the smoked Gouda and whisking using a wire whisk once each batch is melted add more cheese. Once all the Gouda is in the mix add American cheese one slice at a time until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
1 box Girl Scout Shortbread Cookies (crumbled, one sleeve at a time)
6 oz Salted butter, melted
Sauté the crumbled cookies in the Melted butter (this will stop the cookies from burning while baked)
- Cook pasta to el dente. Drain.
- On medium high heat, melt butter and sweat the onions, garlic and shallots, add bacon by the time the bacon is done the onions and garlic mix should be caramelized. Turn the heat down to a low medium.
- Add Cream to the above onion mix, once the cream is starting to come to a roll (do not allow the cream to boil over) start adding small amounts of the Smoked gouda and whisking using a wire whisk once each batch is melted add more cheese. Once all the Gouda is in the mix add American cheese one slice at a time till the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Pour over macaroni and mix carefully. Scale into one greased 12 x 20 x 2-in baking pan.
- Mix crumbs and 6 oz salted butter. Sprinkle over macaroni and cheese. Cover with Parchment paper (waxed paper will work) then in aluminum foil.
- Bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes, until 160°F. Remove the foil and paper and bake until top is golden brown